In the house flipping business, shabby homes are your bread and butter. Few projects flip more quickly and efficiently than a home with stained carpets and chipping paint, especially if the only real problems are on the surface. When portntial buyers can’t see past the grime left by the previous residents,they’ll have a much harder time trying to imagine themselves in the home. Along with that, they can’t help but imagine the worst about what might have caused the damage they see. The house sits on the market, the price drops, and soon it becomes a flipper’s dream come true.
Shabby homes are the ideal project for any flipper, especially someone ready to put in a little elbow grease for a good payback. Shabby surfaces like walls, floors, and cabinets are easy to replace or restore. Here are the seven basic steps to transform a shabby house into a quick and rewarding flip.
The first step is to clean the place up. Often, shabby homes that sit on the market for a long time were never properly cleaned and are being sold by owners who just hope to get an unwanted property off their hands. The house may smell like cigarette smoke, wet dogs, or old cooking grease. It may have a layer of grime on the walls and ground into the carpets, making the whole place seem much worse than it is.
Roll up your sleeves and break out your cleaning materials. Sanitize everything with as deep a clean as you can manage. If necessary, mop the walls and stain-treat the ceilings. See what a vacuum and steam cleaner can do for the carpets and polish the floors to the edge of every baseboard. Once you’re done cleaning, most bad odors will be gone and you’ll have a much clearer perspective on what it will really take to spruce the place up.
Repaint the Walls
When you plan to sell a house, repainting the walls is standard operating procedure. Even if there’s nothing wrong with the previous coat of paint, it’s a good idea to update the color palette for this year’s market trends. But when you’re dealing with a house whose walls have seen better days, nothing is more important than a fresh coat of paint.
Fresh paint will cover stains, and it also allows you to smooth over any repairs that may be necessary on the walls. If you needed to patch a hole in the drywall or seal a crack, do so before painting. Then use your fresh coat of paint to make the walls whole and beautiful. This will go a long way to making the whole home look newer and better cared for.
Replace the Carpets
Once you’ve got the walls polished, look to the floors. Tile and hardwood floors can usually be restored, possibly with a few minor repairs. Carpets, on the other hand, can only take so much abuse and neglect. If the carpets are stained, burned, or crunch even after a thorough round of vacuuming and steam cleaning, they will need to be replaced. Fortunately, carpet replacement is among the easiest of the major flip renovation techniques.
Start by removing the baseboards, then cut the carpet up and remove it. You will probably want to replace the carpet pad as well, as it will also have absorbed whatever stained the carpet. Pick a nice new carpet that suits your chosen color palette. It doesn’t have to break the bank as long as it’s nice to walk on and will last a decade or two.
New carpet is an amazing way to spruce up a shabby home. Where the stained carpet made the place look like a disaster zone, new carpet will look pristine and welcoming to your future buyers.
[To Be Continued in Pt 2]
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